‘The Sarge’ Is P1 In Virginia

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, June 10 2018

Tony Schumacher will start Sunday’s Top Fuel eliminations from the pole position. (File photo courtesy of the NHRA)


Tony Schumacher parlayed his strong Friday qualifying pass to secure the Top Fuel pole Saturday at the inaugural Virginia NHRA Nationals in front of a sellout crowd at Virginia Motorsports Park.

Courtney Force (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock), and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also emerged as No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at Dinwiddie, Va., in the 10th of 24 events on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

Schumacher powered to P1 via a 1,000-foot run of 3.777-seconds at a track-record 327.51 mph during the second qualifying session on Friday. The eight-time world champion now has three No. 1 qualifiers on the season, while he chases his first national event win of the year.

“We’re going to figure out what the track can take tomorrow since it should be a hot day, which is exactly what we want,” Schumacher said. “We have an incredible team, we’re continuing to figure things out and trying to get our first win since last year.”

Schumacher will have a first-round bye due to a 15-car field.

Reigning Top Fuel world champion Brittany Force qualified second in her Monster Energy dragster, and will race Bill Littonon on Sunday.

Courtney Force remained atop the Funny Car field with a 1,000-foot pass of 3.983-seconds at 323.35 mph in her Chevrolet Camaro SS, recorded during her second qualifying run. The current point leader secured her sixth pole of the year and fourth in the past five events.

“My team has been incredible, and having a consistent race car like this has us feeling good going into race day,” Force said. “It feels awesome to have a No. 1 qualifier but it’s important for us to continue to go rounds and hopefully end up in the winner’s circle.” Courtney will race Jeff Diehl in Round 1.

Two-time world champion Robert Hight, Courtney’s John Force Racing teammate, qualified second and will race Cruz Pedregon. A two-time world champ, Pedregon is looking to rebound after an explosion during the third round of qualifying.

Anderson retained the top spot in Pro Stock after covering the traditional quarter-mile in 6.571-seconds at 210.67 mph in his Chevrolet Camaro SS during the last pass on Friday. The four-time world champion locked in his sixth pole of the season and second consecutive.

“Even though it’s been hot this weekend, this wonderful racetrack is not going to change by tomorrow so we know that can only get better,” Anderson said. “This is a wonderful class right now with competition through the roof, so we know every pair is going to run well and it will be an exciting day.” Anderson’s first-round opponent is Tommy Lee.

Reigning Pro Stock world champion Bo Butner _ Anderson’s teammate at KB Racing _ qualified second and will go head-to-head with Wally Stroupe in eliminations.

Pro Stock Motorcycle is led by Hector Arana Jr., who used a quarter-mile pass of 6.795-seconds at 198.15 mph aboard his Lucas Oil Racing TV EBR from his second qualifying run on Friday. Hector Jr. is set to take on Kelly Clontz in Sunday’s first round.

“We are always trying to run faster each round, but we wanted to figure out which direction we needed to go on Sunday,” Arana Jr. said. “Tonight, we will go through all of the data and notes and try to put a winning combination together for tomorrow.”

Five-time world champion Andrew Hines qualified second aboard his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Street Rod and will race 2009 world champ Hector Arana in the first round.


Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations at the Inaugural Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park in Dinwiddie, Va., the 10th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Pairings based upon results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings:

Top Fuel _ 1. Tony Schumacher, 3.777-seconds, 327.51 mph vs. Bye; 2. Brittany Force, 3.808, 324.75 vs. 15. Bill Litton, broke; 3. Terry McMillen, 3.816, 323.81 vs. 14. Terry Haddock, 4.249, 215.68; 4. Doug Kalitta, 3.827, 320.36 vs. 13. Dan Mercier, 3.946, 318.39; 5. Leah Pritchett, 3.830, 320.05 vs. 12. Clay Millican, 3.907, 306.05; 6. Steve Torrence, 3.837, 323.81 vs. 11. Scott Palmer, 3.891, 320.05; 7. Mike Salinas, 3.841, 321.19 vs. 10. Antron Brown, 3.878, 319.14; 8. Richie Crampton, 3.863, 314.46 vs. 9. Dom Lagana, 3.869, 323.81.
Funny Car _ 1. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.983, 323.35 vs. 16. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 4.280, 289.38; 2. Robert Hight, Camaro, 4.039, 318.39 vs. 15. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 4.158, 289.94; 3. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.039, 318.02 vs. 14. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.152, 302.14; 4. J.R. Todd, Camry, 4.042, 316.15 vs. 13. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.115, 284.75; 5. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.053, 312.06 vs. 12. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.113, 312.28; 6. Jonnie Lindberg, Mustang, 4.057, 310.98 vs. 11. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.088, 315.56; 7. John Force, Camaro, 4.065, 317.12 vs. 10. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.083, 314.83; 8. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.070, 311.34 vs. 9. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 4.080, 315.78.
Did Not Qualify _ 17. John Smith, 4.356, 255.19; 18. Phil Burkart, 5.009, 159.89.
Pro Stock _ 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.571, 210.67 vs. 16. Tommy Lee, Camaro, 6.951, 198.41; 2. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.575, 210.14 vs. 15. Wally Stroupe, Camaro, 6.765, 203.80; 3. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.579, 209.30 vs. 14. John Gaydosh Jr., Camaro, 6.720, 205.98; 4. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.580, 209.62 vs. 13. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.681, 207.43; 5. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.585, 209.92 vs. 12. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.657, 208.01; 6. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.590, 209.69 vs. 11. Buddy Perkinson, Camaro, 6.627, 209.26; 7. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.591, 209.49 vs. 10. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.601, 209.82; 8. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.598, 209.69 vs. 9. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.599, 209.82.
Pro Stock Motorcycle _ 1. Hector Arana Jr., Buell, 6.795, 199.14 vs. 16. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.969, 193.10; 2. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.833, 197.02 vs. 15. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.967, 196.70; 3. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.837, 194.69 vs. 14. Cory Reed, Buell, 6.936, 193.05; 4. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.850, 195.99 vs. 13. Mark Paquette, Buell, 6.932, 193.74; 5. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.858, 195.39 vs. 12. John Hall, Buell, 6.929, 192.44; 6. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.863, 195.11 vs. 11. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.922, 195.31; 7. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.872, 194.07 vs. 10. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.889, 193.49; 8. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.886, 194.86 vs. 9. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.887, 193.68.
Did Not Qualify _ 17. Ryan Oehler, 6.975, 191.95; 18. Karen Stoffer, 6.987, 191.29; 19. Ron Tornow, 6.995, 190.00; 20. Angelle Sampey, 7.039, 191.84; 21. Andie Rawlings, 7.302, 179.56.

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, June 10 2018
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